IFPTE: Government Shutdown Places Unnecessary Burden On Highly-Skilled Professionals

By PAUL SHEAARON
IFPTE President
 
Our union, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) represents thousands of highly-skilled professionals employed by the federal government who work in a wide range of occupations including Immigration Judges at the Department of Justice and rocket scientists at NASA.
 
The professionals just mentioned are among the 800,000 federal employees whose lives have been placed on hold by the shutdown of the government.
 
Ninety-five percent of the workers at NASA, for example, are locked out of their offices and laboratories, and all of them may not receive a paycheck. The president falsely claims that “many” federal workers support the shutdown and have told him to “stay out.” We have not heard from a single member who supports the president’s inaction. Most view this as an act of ineptitude.
 
Donald Trump is the head of the administrative branch of government. As the nation’s top administrator he should be deeply concerned about the morale of his employees, the productivity of government agencies, and the ability of the government to attract and retain the best and the brightest. Instead, he is literally tweeting the words “poor me” while holding dedicated professionals hostage, creating unnecessary stress and financial hardships for their families, undermining their work product, and treating them as a chip on a giant poker table.
 
If the president wants to gamble, perhaps he should go back to running casinos. A casino is where it’s commonplace for chips to be tossed around. Gambling with the lives of federal workers is not acceptable.
 
Across the nation, IFPTE represents 80,000 highly-skilled, workers in both the public and private sectors. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. More information can be found at www.IFPTE.org.
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